Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival in China, is slightly different than the Western New Year. The Chinese use the lunar calendar. Therefore, the dates of the Spring Festival change every year, but Chinese New Year is usually celebrated at the beginning of February.
There are many traditions during the Chinese New Year such as opening the windows wide open. This symbolises the flow of good luck into the house. Some Chinese people believe that they mustn’t clean their house or wash their hair during the first three days of the New Year because it resembles sweeping away any good luck and washing away your wealth.
It is usually celebrated by having a reunion dinner with the family together. It is the most important meal of the year. They will prepare a nine-course dinner because the number nine symbolises eternity in China. After the dinner they will pay respect to their ancestors by offering them food.
There are also fireworks. Setting off fireworks will prevent any bad luck according to the Chinese people. Lots of fireworks have the colour red, because red resembles prosperity and luck in China. You will also see many lion dance performances during the Chinese New Year, because the lion symbolises scaring away the evil spirits.
Xīn Nián Kuài Lè! – Happy New Year!
Written by Stijn van Veelen, Intern at China Plus